Wednesday, 19 November 2014

I am a woman of many hats.

So. I am a woman of many hats. I have come to this conclusion only this week. And each one requires completely different skills, socially, emotionally and physically. It’s bloody exhausting! And yet it is the nature of working Motherhood. Actually it’s the nature of Motherhood in general, because your Mum hat is not the same as your Wife/Girlfriend/Partner hat and Friend hat. Anyway, this post is going to be hat-heavy so if you have some weird HAT phobia, look away now.

This is just ONE hour in the life of all of my Hats:

Mum Hat
I am the mum….i am everything that mum incorporates….I am responsible, loving, fiercely loyal/protective, bossy, strict, shouty, short on patience, concerned, caring.  I’m  obsessed with feeding them correctly so I meet all the nutritional requirements that will stop them developing some hideous disease, disciplining correctly to ensure they tow the line but are not emotionally scarred from the shouty mother who loses patience too quickly when at 8.45am with school starting in FIVE MINUTES and they still haven’t got their SHOES ON!!!! In this guise I am theirs completely. We get ready for the childminder drop off for child 2 and school for child 1. (obviously birth orders not orders of preference).
I’m with the childminder, I am talking about my child’s lunch and her nappies and her mood that morning and then me and child 2 are off to school with my Mum hat firmly on my head.
But walking into the playground, as soon as I see another Mum-friend, this hat gets yanked off and I am wearing….

Friend Hat
Friend Hat
I am chatty, “Hi hi” and trying to be funny “yeah my one’s a little shit too” and self deprecating because I want to be your friend “I’m such a LOSER” and we’re talking about some inane crap but it’s fun and I’m enjoying and then a tug on my leg….

“Mummy it’s time to go iiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnn” “Mummy I need a weeeeeeeeee” “mummy I want to go on the climbing frame”

And zooooom on goes the Mum Hat! Which is temporarily confusing and disorienting to my tiny brain….! Wha’? i? Oh yes I’m wearing the Mum Hat. “Ok babes…off you/we go” etc. And then I am fully wearing the hat because I am talking to the teacher about reading or packed lunch or something else equally thrilling.

Then I am back in the playground for more Friend Hat activity and banter. I’ve instantly forgotten I have kids and right in THAT moment I am all about trying to bring the funnies.
Then off I trot off to work…completely and utterly in a world of my own. I have an idea…I’ll just pop into Mum’s for a quick cuppa before work, I’ve got 10 mins. I’ll throw on my…..

Daughter Hat
I am silly, stroppy, bossy, giving my mum unwanted opinions about her decorating choices, asking her advice about disciplining my child or feeding them or whatever and then I am listening and talking and listening and listening and chatting and having coffee and having fun. Then all to soon I have to leave to go to work so I know which hat to choose now obviously but hang on, what’s this?! I’ve had a text from Emlyn….he’s having some work based crisis….i quickly fling on….

Wife Hat
I am concerned, I am being diplomatic, I am trying to rationalise the crisis, I am supportive, I am comforting, I am promising rude things to cheer him up later, and trying to bring the funnies yet again. Husband appeased……I’m reaching for the Work hat…..

Walk along the road, wearing the Work hat, thinking of buying coffee and what spreadsheets I have to trawl through and who I have to pay and Bam! I walk straight into a school mum!

Friend Hat! “Hi Hi” we’re chatting about school places…”I haven’t seen you in ages, oh you didn’t get into Hawthorn? Oh but how is….blah blah blah” but then out of the corner of my eye I spot a colleague coming towards me …this is awkward….i don’t know this woman well and I need to get to work and my two worlds are about to collide but phew! Conversation winds down and I only have to greet the work colleague with a head nod and wave as they cross the road to get milk for the office and I reach the office door and finally put on my…..

Work Hat.
I’m focused, I’m pumped, I’m ready to face my dullsville spreadsheets, I’ve got my coffee, the computer’s on…..text from the childminder. Child number 2 has got a temperature….I need to pick her up and take her home and………I’m swapping my hats once more……

Monday, 6 October 2014


It’s Autumn! Hooray…the weather is finally getting colder and the leaves have properly burst into red and orange flames! Yes I AM being a ponce but I do LOVE the brrrrrr of going for walks through the crisp, spicy-aired park on the weekends and toastiness of staying-in on blustery Autumn nights, snuggling under sofa rugs and drinking wine (Stoptober) de-caf coffee. And this weekend we wandered firstly around Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on a tip off from a mate because we were on a conker hunt….CONKERS!!!!! And after filling our boots (or rather, the bottom of the buggy) we then went over the foot bridge to the Castle grounds for an over-priced coffee as we wandered through the golden-brown trees. It was lovely.

Back to the most exciting part of the walk though…. CONKER HUNTING!!!!! Oh my goodness, the second I squeezed a conker from its spiky green shell, I was transported IMMEDIATELY to my Infant School Playground where loads of Horse Chesnut trees over-hang. I remember we would collect BAGS full of them, in search of the biggest, hardest, shiniest specimen. I was SO excited finding the ground of the park strewn with them! We picked up LOADS.

But of course it didn’t actually dawn on me until we got home that actually we would have to do something with the blighters. So trawling thru Pinterest racking my very creative and original imagination *cough* I came up with a plan to get Gus to decorate them and stick them in a glass vase to show them off. Leaving a few to teach him how to have a proper conker bash-off OBVS. (um, I’m not sure “bash-off” is the correct term in this context….)

The end result, however, is actually a bit rubbish and not massively inspiring. The paint I mixed up wasn’t right for the very non-porous conkers and so mainly slid off. And the glitter just looked a bit garish and silly. The best results came from my new favourite thing….METALLIC SHARPIES! So if you wanted something a bit more tasteful then I would ignore your children’s cries, not let them anywhere near the creative input and do it yourself. I snuck out my favourite conkers and put them in a poncey jar with a candle and whilst being ridiculously twee, I am very happy with the result.

Of course, that’s not really in the spirit of things though and I actually had LOADS of fun doing this with Gus. It managed to keep him entertained for a whole hour which for a 4 year old boy is bordering on a miracle. And I am being mean really because his conkers are fun and colourful.

I hope you are all enjoying the lovely crisp Autumness. Christmas soon….woohOoOOOO!!!!!

#CraftyOctober 2014 on The Purple Pumpkin Blog

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Childcare Guilt.

Childcare guilt. Do you have it? I have it. But I probably deserve to have it. You probably don’t.

I spent virtually the WHOLE of August staringly longingly into the future when my children would be in childcare all day 4 days a week and I’d be happily ensconced behind my desk at work. This was because being stuck at home with me in our tiny house, in the rainy summer, when we were all ill and miserable was HELL. Sometimes. Especially when a certain young lady was trying to move, but couldn’t; trying to growth teeth, but couldn’t; trying to not have any any sleep EVER and succeeding. AND. A certain young man was HYPER AND ANGRY AND BOOOOOOOOOOOORED (see previous post).

But now she’s crawling and not ill and sleeping and HAPPY! Smiley, happy, giggly Joni Jo!

And he’s lovely and compliant, and sweet and happy to play on his own or with Joni or help Mummy and Daddy! And he DOES want to get dressed and he DOES want to put his shoes on and he DOES want to eat his dinner….

WHAT?! Did I get swizzed?! Where were these kids 2 weeks ago?!

Now it’s September and I have to work 4 days a week again, possibly with overtime coming up because a colleague has left. I thought…woohoo! Normality! Routine! 4 peaceful lunchtimes and coffee breaks a week! But this hasn’t happened. My NOW delightful children have decided that they LIKE being at home with angry, shouty, frustrated Mummy WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more than stinky school and nursery! BUT FOR WHY?! WHY would they want to be at home with me all day when they can be entertained and given attention and have space to run / crawl around in and endless friends to play with?

Well I guess I do understand. A bit. I mean, I don’t understand why they want to be at home with me (I actually think they probably both would rather be at home with Daddy…..Gus confirmed this sorrowful thought for me this morning). But I do understand that going from half a day in school then half a day with me or Gale (lovely childminder) to all day at school then on to after school club 4 days a week is a big jump for Gus. Despite him knowing the school, his classroom and teacher are different; the day is different; there are twice as many kids, half of whom he doesn’t know and hardly any of which are in afterschool club with him. And happy and confident as he is, he’s quite shy so I know it’s pretty overwhelming for him. There have been lots of tears. Pulling away from me and screaming that he didn’t want to go into school this morning…..sobbing yesterday before we’d even left the house, crying when going from school to after-school. It makes me feel SICK with sadness for him.

And Joni-ioni. She’s currently (and thankfully temporarily) going to a nursery for 2 days a week instead of 4 days with Gale. She SOBS when I hand her over. Then screams as I walk away. Then sobs when I pick her up at the end of the day. Yesterday she saw me through the window as I arrived at the nursery and bawled her heart out. MEGA SADFACE.

When Gus was first at nursery and until about 18 months, he never once cried when I left him. It got to the point where I was actually a little bit resentful that other people’s kids were so sad to leave their parents and he wouldn’t give me a second glance. And I used to glibly tell other parents that their wailing little darlings would be FIIIIIIIIINNNNE once they’d gone/in a few minutes etc etc. But then once Gus’s tears started my heart BROKE! It’s horrendous leaving your child to cry because you are ABANDONING THEM!

I feel SO guilty. Guilty that I am not doing the right thing by working so much and guilty that I looked forward to my childfree time and it’s at the expense of my children’s happiness. I know he’ll get used to the long days and Joni won’t be at nursery long (just a month) and everything will be OK. But it’s still there. Climbing into the pit of my stomach.

Guilt, Guilt, stinky bloody Guilt. Ugh. 

Brilliant blog posts on
Super Busy Mum

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Helicopter Summer 2014

Hello Peeps! 

Here's a picture collage of some of the things we got up to in the summer! Enjoy! 


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

What Joni Wore Today (BSP) Part 10

Hey you guys. Haven't done one of these little fellas in a while so thought i'd upload a few quick pics of my supercute bubba girl showcasing our love of yellow. It's quite hard to get her to sit still these days, or pose for the camera...hence not a lot of smiles and some random pointing. One of the pics shows her "tongue out" bid for freedom as well. But still, you get the idea. 

The multli coloured play suit is from JoJo Maman Bebe, the tights are from Mamas & Papas, the yellow vest is from Tesco, the mustard yellow trousers & top are Mamas & Papas and handmade cardie by a family member. 

The second look is pretty androgynous despite the crazy colours. Reminded me of a "crazy" school teacher that you might report for being a bit dodge. Which is always a look i try and embrace.....



Wednesday, 13 August 2014

September....Are We Nearly There Yet?!

 Long-time no blog eh? Well I have been a little busy looking after 2, being back at work, battling with getting my child into the school he’s already in (don’t ask!) oh and having a gastric band…you know, the usual.

When the weather was fine and Gus wasn't BORED
The last time I properly wrote about my life with the Mini Copters, I was moaning about how I’m a rubbish mum who was desperate to get back to work and unable to cope with 2 kiddies full time but then I was glad because actually things got ok and I was actually going to miss them. (Don’t you love a re-cap?! Unlike cheap reality programmes, I won’t be doing it at the start of each new paragraph….) WELL. I maaaaaay be having a bit of a tough time again….! I’m such a fair weather blogger aren’t I? Just blog when I’ve got a moan on the brew!

Anyway, I’m digressing waffling as per. So currently we are currently experiencing our first “School Summer Holiday” without the aid of our brilliant (and desperately missed) child minder, Gale. She’s had the audacity to go on holiday with her family! (In all seriousness, for a well-earned break.) Emlyn and I are taking it in turns to use our annual leave to cover the summer holibobs each day of the week.

So we are without the term-time structure of getting up and out the house, healthy walk, few hours of structured activity (school), either straight to Gale's or healthy walk / scoot home, lunch and then an afternoon including various visits to friends (ALL of whom seem to be on holiday RIGHT NOW) or hanging out at the park or seeing Nana or just being in the house which isn’t boring because we haven’t been there, stuck in our tiny front room, ALL DAY since 6am. Boring. BORED.

That’s Gus’s newest, and my most hated new thing. He’s bored by EVERYTHING. He’s always been great at playing by himself and finding things that keep him busy…which I know is pretty unusual for a kid his age. Um, this might be because I’m a lazy, neglectful mum however?! Anyway recently he’s loved sitting quietly and drawing and drawing for hours on end (ok I know this is quite strange for a 4 yr. old boy!), he also usually loves playing with his millions of Thomas (et al) trains, or he is quite happy to run around dressed as Buzz / Woody and play with his cars or play outside on the climbing frame, making up games and creating hysterical narratives that are brilliant to eavesdrop on … a classic being “Thomas was very upset because Thomas’s face smelt of dinner!” But now, no matter what the activity, within seconds he declares boredom and dramatically flops on the nearest soft furnishing! Yesterday, after being glued to Thomas videos for ages, I prized him off the sofa and into wet weather gear and shoved him outside into our glorious, big garden. It was wet but the sun was out and I gave him the ultra-fun job of emptying the (rain filled) paddling pool by chucking the contents all over the garden. A few weeks ago, he’d have found this hilarious. He did it for a total of 20 seconds before standing stock-still and declaring that he was BORED.

Later at my mum’s house (Nana’s) we set out a load of painting gear, got him into his overalls and sat down with him, encouraging him to print and paint. 5 minutes later: I’M BORED. Ugh. I wanted to cry. It took longer to put the stuff away than the time he spent using it.

Gus being a spaceman but
coincidentally also doing his angry face
that we're a bit too familiar with.....
Now to be fair to him, all his friends are away or have been away on holiday, the weather in the last few weeks has been pants so I’ve been less inclined on my days at home with him & Joni to take them out on foot or by bus because I’m yet to pass my driving test (but I am learning!). AND he’s had a weird virus has given him few symptoms, the odd temperature spike, weird flat rash which didn’t develop into much, a morning of throwing up and 2 solid weeks of being an utter bastard to me/Emlyn. He’s been angry, defiant, annoyed…an example would be Joni making the minutest of squeaks “Ssssh JONI!”; her even LOOKING at his toys “She can’t have that, it’s MIIIINE!”; us asking him any question about anything or asking him to do anything ever. It’s been HARD WORK.

Also Joni is just on the cusp of crawling and is frustrated at her static state and therefore demands more of mine or Emlyn’s attention. So “boredom” (or lack of daily routine), lack of company his age, being stuck in a tiny house, the virus AND Joni attention stealing has made for a pretty unhappy Gus Gus.

Which in turn has made mine and Emlyn’s lives preeeeeeeettty tough.

I don’t want to be the kind of mum who wishes her kids’ lives away….every time a hard “phase” comes up though, I find myself just staring longingly at the future to when things get easier (please, no veteran parent step in here and tell me this is a fallacy!). It makes me feel so guilty that I am not appreciating the good stuff that is happening around me right now. Like Joni….she claps! She has teefs! She can nearly crawl! Gus is funny! He’s AMAZING at drawing! *creative genes take a bow* He eats broccoli without complaint! He’s polite (to other people)!

But back to the point. So our first experience of school holidays isn’t the best. I know it will get easier the older they both get. But right now, I can’t WAIT for September 1st to come around. I’m not the only mum that feels like this, right? Right????


Family Friday

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Upcyling Chairs with a Lovely #IkeaHack!

Hey bloggites!

This is going to be a mainly photographic post. I've had a bit of Kirsty Allsop inspiration and decided to UpCycle my old dining room chairs (which I'd bought from an Antiques Market for £40 a couple of years ago) into new funky, bright ones. With a little Ikea Hack thrown in for good measure. Ikea have this new range out which is SO limited addition that it's currently on sale. I LOVE it. Brakig. It's awesome and SO my taste. I'd decorate my whole house in it if I had the time/money. I don't. So I'll make do with some new dining room chairs. OK I bought some of the bowls too....but sssssh! 

I used cream not white but you get the idea! :)
So I've  wanted to paint my chairs for a while but couldn't think what to use to cover the minging old seats with. Then I saw the big cushion covers on sale for FOUR BRITISH POUNDS in Ikea and I thought ...wowsers! One cushion would cover 2 seats at 26'x26'! Cheap as chips! I used some old undercoat on the chairs first. 2 coats of that. Then 2 thin coats of cream gloss...only one small tin's worth £10.99 and that's it! I unscrewed the seat pads. Cut the cushions in two and cut off the seamed edges and zips. Stapled them onto the seat pads and screwed them back into place on the a good 'un! 

*Actually a little mum helped with *cough* DID *cough* the seat pads.

Ta-da!!!!!!!!! The finished product, side-by-side with the original! I'm a genius, what what?